Indonesia: ‘We can’t force or beg’: Gerindra wants other parties in ruling camp to open doors

  • After a highly publicized rendezvous between former presidential candidate pair Megawati Soekarnoputri and Prabowo Subianto recently, the ruling coalition led by the former’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) appears to be playing a waiting game over the possibility of the latter’s Gerindra Party joining the camp.
  • The high-profile meetings triggered speculation that Gerindra would be the first member of the opposition camp to join Jokowi’s upcoming administration.
  • Most members of the ruling coalition have expressed their reluctance to embrace Gerindra, however, executives of the PDI-P, especially its chairwoman Megawati, remained indecisive.
  • Gerindra deputy chairman Arief Poyuono noticed that the PDI-P and Gerindra had shared visions as both leaders renewed their friendship, saying that other parties in Jokowi’s coalition should also open doors for a possible merger.
  • In the ruling coalition, only the NasDem Party has expressed its firm stance not to add a new member. The Golkar Party and the National Awakening Party (PKB) have said they remain open to the possibility but suggest some conditions that need to be fulfilled.
  • Gerindra executive Fadli Zon said he believed that Gerindra’s concepts and ideas, including those on the energy and food sectors, would be accepted by Jokowi. After the MRT meeting, Gerindra said it was eyeing control of the food and energy sectors as a condition of joining the government.
  • Gerindra central executive board head Ahmad Riza Patria said the party would not force its aspiration on the ruling camp.
  • PDI-P secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto said there were indeed different opinions within the coalition about welcoming a new member.
  • Therefore, if later Jokowi and the party leaders did not agree to accept one, there is still a chance for them and Gerindra to work together in another scheme.

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